24 October 2006 | ROCKY-19
Uneventful and unimportant
"Rumba" is George Raft's best Latino film and that's not saying much. He at least gets to play a New Yorker, albeit a New Yorker of Cuban descent hanging out in Havana because gangsters in the States are out to get him. That idea is actually more exciting than the events that play out.
Carole Lombard gets some strong closeups and looks lovely. She plays a bored socialite a little too well, never seeming to rise above ennui even when she's dancing. She gets some nice little bits of dialogue but mostly could have phoned this one in.
Because of his sensual Latin looks, Paramount seemed insistent on making Raft do the sensual Latin dances. Sure, he could dance the rumba OK, but it is nothing like the hot style of dancing that made him famous as the "fastest dancer in New York" back in the '20s. Only in the first dance number in "Rumba" do we get a very brief glimpse of this.
Overall, this is hardly an important film for anyone - but look fast: Ann Sheridan is among the mass of dancers.